Skip to main content

Apple finally expands its bug bounty program to accept MacOS bugs

Apple’s 3-year-old bug bounty program has finally, officially expanded to accept bug submissions from other Apple ecosystem platforms, including MacOS. The technology company announced its plans for the expansion just a few months ago, during the Black Hat cybersecurity conference. Apple appears to have launched the expansion of its Security Bounty program on Thursday, December 19, via a new webpage published on its site that provides further details on the updated program.

The Apple Security Bounty program is essentially a program in which Apple incentivizes security researchers to find bugs in Apple’s various operating systems and report them to the company in exchange for a pretty sizable monetary reward. As ZDNet notes, when the program was first launched in 2016, it only accepted bug reports for iOS bugs from certain researchers who had been invited to participate in the program. But as of this week, the Security Bounty program has officially expanded to not only accept MacOS bugs, but also bugs from other Apple operating systems, and it now allows the participation of all security researchers.

The newly published webpage on Apple’s website provides details on the current iteration of the Security Bounty program, including eligibility guidelines, bounty categories (and their associated maximum rewards), and instructions on how to submit a bug report. There’s even a separate page that lists example payouts for different kinds of bugs.

In addition to MacOS bugs, the program officially accepts bug reports for iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and WatchOS. There doesn’t appear to be any MacOS specific-guidelines for submitting bug reports about it, but generally speaking, in order to be eligible for a bounty, researchers must follow three main guidelines:

  1. You have to be the first one to report the bug to Apple Product Security.
  2. A report must be submitted and it should be “clear” and contain “a working exploit.”
  3. You can’t publicize the bug until “Apple releases the security advisory for the report.”

It’s also worth noting that if the bug has “significant impact to users,” Apple will still take it into consideration for a bounty payment even if it doesn’t “fit the published bounty categories.” Also, the bounties themselves aren’t tiny. In fact, the smallest example payout listed was $25,000 and the largest payout appears to be $1 million.

Editors' Recommendations

Anita George
Anita has been a technology reporter since 2013 and currently writes for the Computing section at Digital Trends. She began…
How to take a screenshot on a Mac
The keyboard and trackpad of the MacBook Pro 14-inch.

For most new Mac users -- especially if they're coming from Windows -- one of the first questions they need to ask is how to take a screenshot on a Mac? There's no dedicated Print Screen key like there is on Windows, but there is keyboard shortcut, and if you want something more akin to Microsoft's Windows Snipping tool, there are some great screenshot apps you can use, too.

Here's how to take a screenshot on a Mac in a few different ways.
How to take a screenshot using keyboard shortcuts
MacOS keyboard shortcuts are the quickest ways to take screenshots, whether you're capturing the entire screen or just a portion. By default, Apple's methods save your screenshot to the desktop, but if you want to copy the screenshot to the clipboard, there's a keyboard shortcut you can use instead.
How to capture a selected area

Read more
I was wrong about using Stage Manager on Mac
Stage manager in macOS Ventura.

Stage Manager is one of those software features that has had a rather bumpy road since Apple launched it in 2022. The unique multitasking feature has landed itself in a heap of criticism over its short lifespan.

I, however, was not one of these critics. I was super excited by Stage Manager and the promise it contained. It was something new and shiny, here to shake up macOS in a fresh and different way. Even after using it myself, I foresaw it fundamentally changing the way I used my Mac.

Read more
How to change the default apps on a Mac
Change your Mac’s default apps in three easy steps
MacOS Catalina Hands-on | Macbook Pro

Apple products come loaded with software designed to work seamlessly with the macOS operating system. For example, Safari is the default software used to load websites, Preview is used to view pictures, and Pages will open documents. But if you're not a fan of the built-in software, Apple doesn't lock you into using it. However, you'll need to know exactly where to look if you want to change the default apps on a Mac.

Thankfully, the process is largely the same whether you're running macOS Sonoma 14, Ventura 13, or other macOS versions. It's also easy to reverse the process and go back to using default apps.

Read more